Heavy rains are common during the summer months, and if your basement is not properly sealed or protected, it can quickly become flooded. When a natural disaster like a flood strikes, it can seem like the world is ending. But even in the face of such a devastating event, it is important to remember that you are not alone. Some people will help you through this difficult time, and there are things you can do to make the situation easier for yourself and your loved ones.
The following is a list of seven important things to do when your basement suddenly gets flooded.
1. Contact a Water Extraction and Restoration Company
One of the most important steps to take when your basement floods are to call a water extraction and restoration company. These companies specialize in removing excess water and restoring damaged areas, and they often work directly with insurance providers. Suppose you can get a company that offers a basement waterproofing solution even better. This can prevent future flooding and water damage issues.
Don’t wait too long to call a restoration company – the longer water sits in your basement, the more damage it can cause. These companies often have 24-hour emergency lines for situations like this, and they can assess the damage and begin the restoration process quickly.
2. Turn Off Power to the Affected Area
If your basement is flooded, there’s a good chance that water has gotten into the electrical system. If you don’t shut off power, you could get an electric shock when you enter the basement – or worse, someone else could touch an electrified object and be seriously injured or killed. So before doing anything else, locate your breaker box and flip all the switches to “off.” If you’re unsure which switch corresponds to your basement, ask a friend or family member for help.
If water is coming into your basement through appliances – such as a washing machine or dishwasher – turn them off at the source by unplugging them from the wall. This will help minimize damage to both the appliance and your home.
3. Remove Standing Water
Basements can quickly fill with water during a flood, making them difficult to remove. The faster you get the water out, the less damage it will cause. Here are some tips on how to remove standing water from your basement:
- Use a wet/dry vacuum or sump pump to remove the water.
- If you do not have access to these tools, consider using buckets or towels to soak up as much water as possible.
- Ensure to stay safe while removing standing water, avoid electrical outlets, and wear protective gear such as rubber boots and gloves.
- Once all the standing water has been removed, dry out the area with fans or dehumidifiers before beginning any repairs or clean-up efforts.
- Keep in mind that it is important to act quickly – standing water can cause damage to walls and floors and increase the likelihood of mold growth.
4. Move Furniture and Belongings Out of the Affected Area
When a disaster like a flood strikes, the last thing you want to do is waste time moving furniture and belongings out of the affected area. But if you can take the time to do it right, it will save you a lot of hassle and heartache in the long run. Start by removing any furniture or objects in direct contact with water. This includes sofas, chairs, tables, beds, dressers – anything that might be damaged by water exposure. If possible, try to move these items to another room in your home until the flooding has subsided.
Next, remove any smaller items from the area that might be damaged by water or mud – pictures, books, knick-knacks, etc. Again, try to move these items to another room in your home until the flooding has subsided.
Finally, move any larger furniture pieces out of the area using whatever means necessary – ropes, tarps, blankets, etc. Be very careful not to damage them further. Once they’re out of the way, you can start cleaning up the mess.
5. Contact Your Insurance Company
When your basement floods, one of the first things you should do is contact your insurance company. Flood damage is usually covered under homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policies, and most insurance companies have a 24-hour emergency line specifically for this type of situation.
The sooner you get in touch with your insurer, the sooner they can assess the damage and get you set up with a restoration company. Remember that most policies have a waiting period before they start to pay out claims, so make sure to make contact quickly.
When you call your insurance company, be prepared to provide them with as much information as possible about the flood. This includes the date and time, how long it lasted, what caused it (if known), and any estimates of damages you have already received.
6. Begin Assessing and Documenting the Damage
Once you’ve contacted relevant professionals for help with cleanup and restoration, it’s time to start assessing the damage yourself (if safe to do so). Take pictures or videos of any damaged possessions and the affected areas of your home.
If possible, document the value and proof of ownership for ruined items – this can be helpful when filing insurance claims. If necessary, separate salvageable possessions from those that cannot be saved.
7. Take Steps to Prevent Future Flooding
Once the initial cleanup and restoration process is underway, it’s important to prevent future flooding in your basement. This could include installing a sump pump, sealing cracks in foundation walls, or redirecting downspouts and gutters away from your home.
Your insurance company may also have recommendations for preventative measures and referrals for contractors who can assist with these tasks. Taking these steps can help minimize the likelihood of future floods – saving you time, money, and stress in the long run.
Flooding can be a devastating event, both for your home and your possessions. But by following these seven important steps, you can make cleaning and restoration easier for yourself. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible, contact a water extraction and restoration company, assess and document damage, and take steps to prevent future flooding. With these measures in place, you can rest assured that your basement will be back to normal in no time.